Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has increased by 51%, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. The increase from 20% working from home pre-pandemic to 71% at the time of the study (December 2020), reflects the necessity brought on by social distancing. Employers have embraced virtual technology to implement safety measures as well as work-life balance. Social media giant LinkedIn also recognized a surge in its membership base, averaging about 3 million new users per month since the start of the pandemic. We chatted with Diane LeMaire, senior managing branch director at Creative Financial Staffing, about some of the best LinkedIn and other general social media practices for young professionals.
The internet has become an essential pathway for connections and interactions, how important is maintaining a social media presence to the everyday work environment and relations?
I personally get very suspicious of people who do not have any social media presence at all. With that being said, it is extremely important to be careful online and make sure that you do not post anything that can jeopardize your current or future employment. You must remember that anything posted on social media can be found online. Each and every post should be curated carefully; it will live on the internet forever.
LinkedIn, the most popular platform for professional networking, allows employers to view potential candidates and their interactions with other entities. What are some of the best practices for posting and fashioning one’s profile?
One of my top LinkedIn tips is to make sure you know your audience. LinkedIn is a professional networking site and should not be confused with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It is a great tool to share “business” articles, exchange ideas related to your profession and industry, plus search its robust job board for new opportunities.
When crafting your profile, take advantage of all the features LinkedIn has to offer including certifications, featured content, honors & awards, etc. Resumes can only highlight a portion of your career history; LinkedIn allows you to expand on your skills and helps you stand out as a candidate. Put the time into crafting your profile, it is worth it.
A LinkedIn profile contains a plethora of professional information about a person, which of these characteristics are most important to an employer?
You must have a professional headshot, this can easily be done with a smartphone these days. Also make sure your banner is also professional in nature. LinkedIn should be thought of as an extension of your resume. Keep in mind that companies like to hire well-rounded professionals, which means a complete profile is essential. Include your education, volunteer experience, skills, and more. If you don’t take the time to properly brand yourself on LinkedIn, then how much effort will you put into your work? You never know what will stand out to a hiring manager. For example, you may have the same Alma Maters or enjoy volunteering for the same organizations!
What is one piece of advice you would give young professionals who want to enhance their LinkedIn presence?
Young professionals and even college students should all have a LinkedIn profile. It is important to grow your network, which can be done by joining groups and connecting with as many people as possible. Also, make sure your profile is complete and keyword-rich so you can easily be found!
While respecting one’s privacy, is it important for a person to maintain a presentable profile across other social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter?
There are settings on Facebook that can be turned on so none of your personal posts are visible to non-connections. The same goes for Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. When posting, you should always question whether or not you would want your current company or future company to see your posts. Do not post if you think it could hurt your chances of getting hired or impact your current job! Remember, not everyone shares the same views as you.
Learn more about other LinkedIn tips.